Stop Maxi Bills: the issue of incorrect billing

It is already a pain for consumers to receive their electricity and gas bills, and errors made in the balance of the statements only worsen the situation. To provide consumer protections against this problem, the Honorable Baldelli and other Forza Italia party members started the #stopmaxibollette campaign in the Government. After this campaign began in 2015, the Ministry of Economic Development began to search for solutions.

After much editing, the “Baldelli law” was unanimously approved by the Chamber for the 2018 Budget Law, guaranteeing the consumer’s right to suspend payment pending verification of the legitimacy of the operator’s conduct and the right to reimbursements made by undue adjustments. When facing pushback while trying to expand customers’ protections in 2019, Senator Gianbattista Fazzolari (Brothers of Italy) presented an amendment for the 2020 Budget Law that allowed the consumer to receive reimbursement as well as a penalty payment of 10% (at least 100 euros) if the manager’s conduct is deemed illegal.

Although, how should these complaints be handled?

Consumer protection associations wonder if they would be best fit to play this mediating role between the consumer and the company. Enel Energia holds the highest market share in the sale of electricity and gas in the national market, so they naturally have the largest number of complaints. In their report to the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks, and Environments’ hearing, Enel Energia explained that more must be done to simplify responses and satisfy customers on complex answers.

The chain of amendments extending consumers’ rights in the electricity and gas markets indicates the Government’s predisposition to support the . However, protecting the consumer can only go so far when attention is not given to the businesses, as well. While regulations have changed in billing consumers, the technological aspects of meters have not developed. Therefore, it may be best if attention now moves toward providing electricity and gas companies the resources to handle the higher volume of complaints.